08.05.2021

“He should’ve died right there at the scene” (10 photos)

he shouldve died right there at the scene 10 photos 101 He should’ve died right there at the scene” (10 photos)

As many know, sports and hobbies can also play a part in the healing process, be it natural disasters or a personal calamity. Despite the Arizona Diamondbacks’ franchise entering just their fourth MLB season, they miraculously won the 2001 World Series, beating the storied New York Yankees in seven games. Jason not only got to focus his energies on their success, but also threw out the first pitch at a regular season game. Months later, Jason found himself in Salt Lake City, passing the Olympic torch to World Series MVP Curt Schilling at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2002 games.

By year’s end, the ultimate celebratory moment came when Jason’s wife Suzie announced that she was pregnant with their third child, their first since his accident. New life in the wake of a near-death experiences – it made the fight worth more than it already was, as there’d have been no Mason Schechterle without the hard-fought journey back. Fast forward to 2017 – Jason was also around to walk his daughter Kiley down the aisle, giving her away at her wedding.

Where a third child might drain the average, ordinary parent, Jason was invigorated and felt like himself for the first time since the accident. Two weeks after Mason’s birth, he drove himself back to the precinct, and within the year, worked his way up to homicide detective, another box checked off his list of goals. It went well for a while, until physical limitations got in the way. So be it. No slowing down, onto the next challenge.

That golf game that could’ve sent him to college for free? Time to to get his game back, fingers be damned. Jason miraculously picked up where he left off, his skills and story putting him in position to play with some of the game’s best, taking in rounds with pros like Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson. None moved him, though, like a hang with eventual-William Murray Golf brand ambassador Pat Perez.

The two became close, mostly due to PP ball-busting Schech the way he would any good friend. To this day, Jason plays the Perez family’s “Operation Game-On” charity tourney every August in San Diego, an event that introduced combat-injured troops to golf as a a form of therapy. Jason can obviously relate.

Jason started a business after his second stint in law enforcement came to an end, but a desire to tell his story still tugged at him. Like so many other happenstance moments, another one involving a firefighter came with a life-changing impact.

At a random speaking engagement years back, a New York City first responder approached after Jason had shared his story. Having lost several friends and brothers on 9/11, the firefighter was now in the midst of a divorce, his life in shambles. Jason’s words gave him purpose, a reason to go on.

Not lost on Jason was the fact that things had come full circle; firefighters had saved his life, and now his story of survival ultimately saved the life of a firefighter. It was all he needed to hear regarding life’s next challenge: public speaking.

After his accident, Jason felt uncomfortable in society and avoided leaving the house at all costs; now he’s on the road, doing almost 100 speaking engagements per year. His mission: inspire others to overcome their personal adversity, big or small. To this day, Jason describes himself as “the luckiest person alive.”

When I asked if Jason had any words for theCHIVE community, he asked me to pass the following along: “Never underestimate the power of the human spirit to persevere,” he shared, adding, “I believe humans have an inherent need to be inspired, so when you find something or see something that inspires you, move toward it. This life is short and precious. Don’t let the pain of today overcome the power of tomorrow.”

For more on Jason, visit his website and check out his inspiring book “Burning Shield: The Jason Schechterle Story,” written with Landon Napoleon. May his story and mindset change your life as they did mine.

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